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Quantification of the D2-Glycoprotein in Amniotic Fluid and Serum from Pregnancies with Fetal Neural Tube Defects


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Elisabeth Bock, The Protein Laboratory, University of Copenhagen, 34 Sigurdsgade, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.


Abstract: D2 is a glycoprotein existing in both membrane-bound and soluble forms. Employing a specific rabbit antibody against purified human brain D2, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the quantification of D2 and applied it to amniotic fluids from 87 normal and 36 pathological pregnancies. With a cut-off point of 150 ng D2/ml, no false positive D2 values were obtained in any of the amniotic fluids from normal fetuses, although the alpha-fetoprotein concentrations were slightly increased in 13 cases. No false negative D2 values were found in any of the 18 investigated amniotic fluids from fetuses with anencephaly. Of 8 amniotic fluids from fetuses with spina bifida, 2 false negative D2 values were found. No false negative alphafetoprotein values were found in any of the cases with neural tube defects in this study. In 10 amniotic fluids from fetuses with other malformations, 5 samples showed raised D2 concentrations. The D2 level in sera from 10 women carrying normal fetuses and 16 women carrying malformed fetuses was also determined, but no statistically significant difference in D2 level was found in the pathological sera when compared with normal sera. It was concluded that the determination of D2 concentrations in amniotic fluid by means of the D2-ELISA may be used as an additional test in the screening of fetal malformations in early pregnancy.

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